‘Blowback’ Is Real, and We’re
Living Through It
it comes to unintended consequences of American policy, Donald Trump is
just the tip of the iceberg.
Michael Hudson On Trump’s Plan
to Impose Steel & Aluminum Tariffs
and Transcript By Democracy Now
Putin Unveils New Russian Nuclear
Says It Renders Defenses 'Useless'
March 01, 2018
want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15
years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful
sanctions aimed to contain our country's development ... you have failed to
contain Russia," he said.
He accused the West of "ignoring us. Nobody listened to us. Well
listen to us now."
Putin’s State of the Union
Paul Craig Roberts
has given a remarkable address to the Federal Assembly, the Russian People,
and the peoples of the world.
his speech Putin revealed the existence of new Russian nuclear weapons that
make it undisputably clear that Russia has vast
nuclear superiority over the United States and its pathic
NATO vassal states.
In view of the Russian capabilities, it is not clear that the US any longer
qualifies as a superpower.
is little doubt in my mind that if the crazed neoconservatives and
military/security complex in Washington had these weapons and Russia did
not, Washington would launch an attack on Russia.
however, declared that Russia has no territorial ambitions, no hegemonic
ambitions, and no intention to attack any other country. Putin described
the weapons as the necessary response to the West’s firm refusal year after
year to accept peace and cooperation with Russia, instead surrounding Russia
with military bases and ABM systems.
Putin Trumps Trump
Eric S. Margolis
December, 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed that the US would
unilaterally pull out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that had
curtailed the development of nuclear missiles and anti-missile systems to defeat
them. The arrogant, dim-witted Bush believed that US space technology was
advancing so rapidly that it would neutralize Russia’s force of ICBM
missiles. Bush was just a puppet. The real power behind him was Vice
President Dick Cheney, the leading neocon who
sneered at Russia, dismissed it as a mere ‘gas-station,’ and was determined
to see the US achieve global dominance.
In Cheney’s view, the ABM Treaty was holding the US back from this
goal. Bankrupt Moscow would never be able to stand up to the mighty USA.
Moscow warned that reneging on the ABM Treaty would re-ignite a ruinous
arms race. A then little known politician, Vladimir Putin, vowed that
Russia would never bend its knee to the US nuclear colossus. This week,
President Putin stunned the world by revealing a new arsenal of
nuclear-armed weapons that have stolen a march on Washington and left the
warlike President Donald Trump looking foolish.
Don’t you understand what I’m trying to say?
And can’t you feel the fears I’m
If the button is pushed, there’s no
There’ll be no one to save with the
world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it’s
bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and
over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the
eve of destruction.
—Barry McGuire, “Eve
of Destruction,” 1965
2002 until 2011, Paul Marcarelli, perhaps better
known to American audiences as Verizon’s
“test guy,” made a career starring in television commercials,
wandering the width and breadth of the United States, holding a phone to
his ear and asking the simple question, “Can you hear me now?” Verizon was,
and is, in the communications business in which the ability to send a
message is only as good as the corresponding ability to receive it. On
Thursday, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s much-maligned president, delivered his state
of the nation address to the Russian Federal Assembly (the
Russian national Legislature, consisting of the State Duma,
or lower house, and the Russian Council, or upper house). While the first
half of his speech dealt with Russian domestic issues—and any American who
has bought into Western media perceptions that Russia is a collapsing
state, possessing a failed economy, would do well to read this portion of
the speech—it was the second half of the presentation that caused the world
to sit up and listen.
‘Nuclear war between Russia and US
will bring end to civilization’
By training its European allies to use their nuclear
arms, the US is moving towards an atomic war with Russia, forgetting that
it would mean the end of the human civilization, retired Lieutenant General
Evgeny Buzhinsky told
US military is preparing the armed forces of the European countries for the
use of tactical nukes against Russia, Sergey Lavrov,
the Russian Foreign Minister, said on Wednesday.
He added that the presence of American non-strategic nuclear weapons in
Europe is a major stumbling block in the path of disarmament.
“No one can say how serious
the threat really is” from
the US actions, Buzhinsky, the Chairman of the
Executive Board of the PIR-Center, said. However, he pointed out that “the military people are getting ready. The Russian
military is preparing and the American military does the same. And it’s for
the politicians to warn the public that such preparations are being made.”
Parenti - Lies, War, and Empire (2007)
Michael Parenti on "Lies, War, and Empire"
given May 12, 2007 at Antioch University in Seattle.
'Ukraine on Fire': Oliver Stone
Finally Available in the West
by Western media as a people's revolution, it was in fact a coup d'état
scripted and staged by nationalist groups and the U.S. State Department.
film was originally released in 2016, but unsurprisingly, Stone came
up against problems
distributing the film in the US and western countries. A
Russian-dubbed version was available almost immediately and was aired on TV
in Russia, but people in the 'free world' were left without access to the
Voices Of The Silenced Majority
award-winning documentary film on the root causes of the
film covers a wide range of topics -- which include -- the first wave of
Jewish immigration from Europe in the 1880's, the 1920 tensions, the 1948
war, the 1967 war, the first Intifada of 1987, the Oslo Peace Process,
Settlement expansion, the role of the United States Government, the second
Intifada of 2000, the separation barrier and the Israeli withdrawal from
Gaza, as well as many heart wrenching testimonials from victims of this
film ‘Stone Cold Justice’ on Israel’s torture
film which has been produced by a group of Australian journalists has
sparked an international outcry against Israel after it explicitly detailed
Tel Aviv's use of torture against Palestinian children.
The film, titled ‘Stone Cold Justice’ documents how Palestinian children,
who have been arrested and detained by Israeli forces, are subjected to
physical abuse, torture and forced into false confessions and pushed into
gathering intelligence on Palestinian activists. Australia's foreign
minister Julie Bishop has spoken out against Israeli's use of torture
stating that “I am deeply concerned by allegations of the mistreatment of
Palestinian children,” Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has described
the human rights abuses documented in the film as “intolerable”. But rights
groups have slammed this statement, saying that the Israelis are doing
nothing to change Tel Aviv's policy to torture Palestinian children. Last
year a report by the United Nations International Emergency Children's Fund
or UNICEF concluded that Palestinian children are often targeted in night
arrests and raids of their homes, threatened with death and subjected to
physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault. The film Stone
Cold Justice has sparked an international outcry about Israel's treatment
of children in Israeli jails. However, rights groups have criticized Tel Aviv
for not doing anything to create a policy that protects Palestinian
children against arbitrary arrest and torture.
Fake History. How The Money Power
Controls Our Future
By Controlling Our Past
Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty
‘Fake History’ and ‘Fake News’ pejoratives (like ‘Conspiracy Theory’ before
them) have only recently entered common parlance, but the falsification of
history and news reporting is as old as history itself. For many a long
year television news channels and newspapers owned or controlled by the
Money Power (including the British Broadcasting Corporation), have been
feeding us a daily diet of fake information. But in a black is white
Orwellian reversal of truth it is the very people spreading falsehood who
hurl the ‘fake news’ and ‘fake history’ pejoratives at truth tellers. To
maintain control and stem dissent, the ruling elites maliciously misrepresent
and question the integrity of alternative media and non-corporate news
sources which broadcast genuine news, and the honest revisionist historians
who relate historical truths. George Orwell suggested in his ‘war is
peace’, ‘freedom is slavery’, ‘ignorance is strength’ thesis that the
masses fall for the ruling power’s lies because their critical thinking has
been so repressed they will believe any absurdity in contradiction of the
famously added: ‘Who controls the past controls the future.’ Fake history
is a weapon wielded by ruling elites to exert control over us, for it is
knowledge about the past that has the power to shape us as people and
develop our comprehension of reality. True history reveals to those who
care to learn that democracy is a sham; that we the people are akin to
Orwellian proles in Oceania watched over by Big
Brother and accepting of anything he cares to tell us or throw at us. Money
Power control of the received history is crucially important (more so than
control of fake news) because it enables them to keep us in the dark and
ensure our ongoing subservience. After almost seventy years Orwell’s
observation may appear somewhat clichéd, but it is now more relevant than
ever. The highly perceptive author added: ‘The most effective way to
destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their
Now the Most Dangerous Warmonger Network?
by Norman Somomon
evidence is damning. And the silence underscores the arrogance.
than seven weeks after a devastating report from the media watch group FAIR,
top executives and prime-time anchors at MSNBC still refuse to discuss how
the network’s obsession with Russia has thrown minimal journalistic
standards out the window.
Wacky Weather: Bitter Cold Winter Link to 'Arctic Warming'
soaring record North Pole and Arctic temperatures which have “never been this
extreme”, are disrupting
polar jet stream, plunging Europe into a bitter winter. This is replay of
interview with atmospheric scientist Dr. Jennifer Francis, on the warming
Arctic's effect on polar jet stream and extreme cold across U.S. The same
The jet stream
travels around the northern hemisphere, again, this river of fast moving
wind, and it has these big north-south waves in it. By separating that cold
air to the north from the warm air to the south, if the jet stream is south
of you then, you'll be in the cold air. And the opposite is true if it's
north of you. Well, those waves in the jet stream are actually what create
the stormy weather and the nice weather that we experience from time to
time. So what you might surmise, then, is that whatever's going on with the
jet stream around you is really what's controlling your weather. So
anything that affects the jet stream, then, is also going to affect your
Shooting At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
In Parkland Florida
Paul Craig Roberts
have inquired about my silence about the Florida shooting on Valentine’s
Day. The answer is that school shootings are not my expertise. Moreover, a
country, such as the US, which no longer has an independent TV and print
national media, is unable to find out and is dependent on the story told by
authorities. Although it is probably impossible to find out what happened,
independent Internet media makes it possible for a person willing to invest
the time and effort, to arrive at a conclusion on their own. Here are some
of the things to think about.
Parkland FL Stoneman Douglas high school teacher
says the school had been told there would be a code red drill. When he
heard shooting, he assumed it was the drill.
a Sunny Smile for Disney Visitors.
Night, an Uneasy Sleep in a Car.
Calif. — On Disneyland’s Main Street, Emily Bertola
spends hours working on her feet, embroidering names onto mouse ears at the
Mad Hatter shop, where she has been an employee for the last two years. She
usually offers visitors the sunny smile she was trained to give.
of her customers know that for months, she slept in the back of her truck,
showering at the park before her shift.
struggle is hardly unique to Disneyland.
County is known for its affluence, and for its tourist industry. But the
thousands of workers who keep its resorts, restaurants and hotels running
are sometimes struggling to stay afloat.
Mind Blowing Corruption At FBI -
NSA Whistleblower Reveals
Jimmy Dore and William Binney
Whistleblower Exposes U.S. Government Corruption
Sent: Monday, 5 March, 2018
Subject: My latest on Trump's Budget
rdwolff.com and democracyatwork.info.
Thought this piece on Trump's proposed budget might be of
interest; it is attached and also below. Please feel free to recirculate.
Richard D. Wolff
Trump's Budget: Fiddling as Capitalism Burns
March 05, 2018
By Richard D. Wolff,
Truthout | Op-Ed
The Trump budget proposal now
before Congress mostly consists of the classic GOP wish list accompanying
the usual heavily ideological silences. Logically and consistently, it
follows December's massive tax cuts, which will chiefly benefit
corporations and the rich (with small cuts for middle and working-class
people to provide political cover). It stresses increased military
spending. It proposes cuts to various social services,
especially those geared toward the most needy people, and includes direct
attacks on the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. While the
final budget will differ from Trump's proposal, the initial proposal marks
another step in shifting the costs of capitalism's profit-driven global
move to new centers (China, India, etc.) onto the mass of people in the old
centers such as the US.
This reaffirmation of
traditional GOP priorities continues Trump's drive to position himself as
the one Republican who can achieve the party's goals, while minimizing
compromises with Democrats (except on deficit spending). The budget and the
December tax cut have solidified his support among corporations and the
rich who might otherwise have reacted negatively to his exaggerated appeals
to white supremacists, evangelicals, super patriots and other less
The Trump/GOP budget will
result in huge deficits of the sort the GOP has usually used to attack
The fact that his policies
will continue to deepen the inequality of US capitalism does not seem to
matter to Trump and his supporters, including both religious
fundamentalists and corporate leaders. Then again, it did not matter much
to the Obama, Bush or Clinton administrations either. Trump does not bother
to express condemnation of inequality, as Obama did, but both
administrations enabled the intensification of this inequality. Ironically,
worsening inequality provided the Trump campaign with crucial electoral
support from some of its angry victims. He must now worry about attracting
to himself the same blame for inequality that dogged his predecessors and
Hilary Clinton. Among the top presidential contenders of 2016, only Bernie
Sanders wielded sustained outrage at deepening inequality, with that
outrage functioning as a key pillar of his ongoing popularity.
Meanwhile, the Trump/GOP
budget will result in huge deficits of the sort the GOP has usually used to
attack Democrats. This political role reversal underscores the basic
irrelevance of the substance of deficit debates. These debates' ostensible
objects -- the costs versus benefits of governmental budget deficits --
were not their primary purpose. Their purpose was, rather, to keep
attention, criticism and political action away from capitalism's intrinsic
instability and to prevent challenges to the system itself.
Capitalism's irrational and
destructive business cycle downturns, coming at four- to seven-year
intervals on average, have wasted vast resources and typically hurt millions.
For example, downturns such as those of 1974 and 1987 might well have
provoked accumulating systemic criticisms. To preclude that, cyclical
downturns have operated as triggers for the GOP and Dems
to rehash their policy differences. This rehashing has amounted to an
endlessly repeated debate over larger or smaller budget deficits versus
greater or lesser austerities as the alternative ways
to respond to cyclical downturns. More radical policy responses --
socialization of the means of production or transition from hierarchical to
democratic (worker coop) enterprise organizations -- are almost never
considered or debated in mainstream policy spheres.
Capitalism's instability has
never been overcome. It has only ever been "managed."
Managing instability has
proved to be very profitable to corporations and the rich, as it will be
once again as a result of whatever form of the Trump budget passes through
Congress. This management process will consist of four steps. Step one was
the massive tax cuts doled out to corporations and the rich. Step two is
underway: GOP military spending increases, plus compromises with Democrats
to enable at least some state social programs to be sustained or even
allowed to grow. Step three will likely be a shortfall between (reduced)
tax revenues and government expenditures: the deficit that requires
government borrowing. Finally, we have step four:
Washington borrows to fund its deficit.
The federal government draws
loans heavily from corporations and the rich since the mass of people lack
the funds to lend. Thus, corporations and the rich take the money they no
longer have to pay in taxes to Washington and instead lend it to
Washington. Those privileged social groups have thus successfully
substituted interest-earning loans to the government for the taxes they
formerly paid. How very nice for them. Capitalists impose the intrinsic
instability of their system on the entire population, and then get the
government to respond with deficits that benefit and reward the
capitalists. The absurdity of such an economic "policy" is
exceeded only by its gross injustice.
The budget assaults the
standard of living for the 99% now and in the future. It stifles children's
Silence about systemic
injustice is a hallmark of modern capitalist budgets, and Trump's is no
exception. Consider the property tax, a seriously unfair institution about
which Trump offers nothing but silence. Taxes on the value of property
owned in the US are levied almost exclusively on "real" or
"tangible" property. This includes land, buildings, business
inventories, vehicles, and so on. Property taxes fall on the value of
property, whereas income taxes fall on whatever income may be generated by
that property. Such tangible property taxes are levied mostly by local governments
in the US. In stark contrast, intangible property -- stocks and bonds, for
example -- is utterly free of any
property tax in the US. How very nice for the richest among us who, of
course, own the bulk of wealth held in such intangible forms. A federal
intangible property tax would be an easy, quick way to reduce economic
inequality: no wonder neither Trump nor either party leadership said one
word about it.
The tax side of the Trump/GOP
budget is no less crude and provocative than are Trump's tweets and
unscripted asides. The budget unabashedly serves the corporations and the
rich while offering lip service or trivial crumbs for the mass of people.
It is thus vulnerable to a serious, public campaign against it. Yet, as
remarkable as any other aspect of the Trump/GOP budget is its lack of a
strong, serious opposition. Why hasn't there been a large-scale attack
against so unjust and biased a budget?
In opposing the GOP's unjust
economic policy, the Democrats limit themselves to words. Some are contained
in longish policy documents few will read or understand. Others take the
form of sound bites about one or another detail, without addressing the
What is needed is vast street
action, in which masses of the public confront the corporate leaders and
superrich who would reap the benefits of what the Trump/GOP budget
proposes. Such confrontations would need to emphasize that the Trump/GOP
budget is committed to deepen inequality. It is the 1% putting more
distance between them and the rest of us. The budget assaults the
standard of living for the 99% now and in the future. It stifles children's
futures. It follows four decades of growing inequality with measures
that will exacerbate that inequality. And it represents the successful use
of the 1%'s money to buy and corrupt the political parties, so that a
politics of the streets needs to supplement or supplant the traditional
party politics. Strikes, demonstrations and disruptions could make these
points count politically.
The Democratic Party would
confront an existential crisis in the face of such a street-based,
budget-focused politics. It would have to choose between two different
strategies. It could join and help to lead a politics of real opposition to
the budget. Or it could continue on its current path and risk the kind of
irrelevance and plunging electoral support experienced by the social
democratic parties of Europe over recent years (especially in Greece,
France, Italy and Germany). The Democratic Party lost voters to Reagan, the
Bushes and now Trump. A substantial number of those voters switched at
least in part over what the Democrats -- self-proclaimed friends of working
people -- promised but decreasingly delivered.
Saving capitalism from itself
was less than what we needed in the 1930s and is much more inadequate now.
The Party leadership is not
currently mounting a strong opposition to the Trump/GOP assault on workers'
standards of living. Failure to do that risks further exposure of its
incapacity to protect -- let alone advance -- those standards. A Democratic
Party presenting itself as "at least not as bad as the GOP" is
the weakest possible basis for its future. Even the Bernie Sanders
insurgency will not offer escape from this crisis, if Sanders continues to
combine a critique of inequality that avoids linking it to capitalism with
loyalty to a party that insists on celebrating capitalism at every turn.
The Trump/GOP budget proposal
teaches yet another important lesson to those willing to learn. It delivers
billions (in tax cuts, deregulations and subsidies) to the major
shareholders and the top executives whose donated millions fund the
politicians who vote that budget into law. Capitalism's political economy
is now robotically focused on turning the US into a parallel of its
1870-1929 dimensions: vast accumulating wealth overseeing a vast army of
impoverished workers and farmers. That project ended badly in the Great
Depression, and the New Deal went a long way toward undoing the accumulated
inequality. That set the stage for a renewal of capitalist dynamism after
However, this time, the crash
("Great Recession") of 2008 did not undo the accumulated
inequality; quite the opposite. The Trump/GOP budget proposal exemplifies
that opposite. Hence the historical irony: It was a strong, mass, public
opposition in the 1930s, built on the CIO [Congress of Industrial
Organizations] labor movement, plus the socialists and the communists, that
forced FDR and the Democrats to save capitalism by undoing its
self-destructive accumulated inequality. After 1945, big business and the
rich used primarily the GOP and, secondarily, the Democrats to destroy the
New Deal coalition while resuming the drive to ever-deepening inequality.
The 2008 crash generated no
strong, mass, sustained public opposition. Courageous beginnings in the
Occupy Wall Street movement were repressed by prominent representatives of
both parties: President Obama nationally and Mayor Bloomberg in New York
City. No New Deal-type coalition has arisen to reverse the deepening
inequality and thereby save capitalism from its self-delegitimation.
The absence of such a coalition reflects a growing recognition
that saving capitalism from itself was less than what we needed in the
1930s and is much more inadequate now. Increasingly, we know that going
beyond capitalism is the lesson of our history and that a program for
constructing a very different next system is central to assembling the
coalition to get us there.
Richard D. Wolff is professor
of economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he
taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a visiting professor in
the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University,
New York City. He also teaches classes regularly at the Brecht Forum in
Manhattan. Earlier he taught economics at Yale University (1967-1969) and
at the City College of the City University of New York (1969-1973). In
1994, he was a visiting professor of economics at the University of Paris
(France), I (Sorbonne).
Sent: Tue, 06 Mar 2018
Subject: strike fund & info: Wildcat
strike by teachers in West Virginia
Fellow Workers, Friends,
You may want to share this around:
WV Teachers Strike
Support Fund https://www.gofundme.com/wv-teachers-strike-fund
The Real News
Network, "Defying Union Leadership, West Virginia Teachers Return to
the Picket Lines"
Strike Is On: An interview with Jay O'Neal"
San Diego Free
Press, "West Virginia Teachers Show Why Unions Matter | Womens History Month" https://sandiegofreepress.org/2018/03/west-virginia-teachers-show-why-unions-matter-womens-history-month/
In These Times,
"West Virginia Teachers Are Now Out on a Wildcat Strike. The Labor
Movement Should Follow Their Lead"
"From Coal Miners to Teachers: West Virginia Continues to Lead Radical
Labor Struggle in the U.S."
IWW San Diego branch
The Xi Silk Road is
Here to Stay
by Pepe Escobar
Xi's extended tenure could embody the
guarantee China needs to continue its anti-corruption purge and guide the
ongoing economic reorientation.